Popular electric guitar builder Ibanez is not one to keep their company in-line with stereotype expectations. While they started with modern and edgy electric guitars, that did not keep them from building out of character guitars like archtops, semi-hollows and even classic acoustic guitars. Today it’ll be quite hard to pinpoint what their specialty is, because they continue to be successful on the many guitar products that they’ve released, ofcourse this includes parlor style guitars.
Ibanez’ Artwood Series is meant to produce vintage style guitars with modern implements, and more importantly they do so without sacrificing build quality and keeping the cost accessible. As expected there are a number of parlor guitars that came out of this line, and one of which is the AVN4, a very affordable solid mahogany topped parlor that looks more expensive than it actually is.
The AVN4 has an all mahogany body crafted into Ibanez’ parlor guitar shape, and is expected to produce warm and midrange emphasized tones. Since the top is made from solid mahogany, it resonates more to give back some of the articulation and sustain that are normally lost on warm sounding guitars. The guitar’s mahogany back & sides complete the earthy appeal and complements the vintage voice.
The neck is also crafted from mahogany, carved into a U shape that mimics a more traditional chunky profile than Ibanez’ popular flat and fast necks. This means that playability wise, this guitar provides a more traditional feel. The fingerboard is made from rosewood, with a mid size scale length of 25″ and a thin nut width of 1.69″. It has a total of 20 frets with the neck joint located right after the 12th fret.
As expected from Ibanez, this guitar goes beyond functionality to ensure cosmetic quality without jacking up the price tag. It has premium looking aesthetic appointments that you won’t see on other guitars in this price range, including double purfling, tortoise shell binding, acrylic block inlays, acrylic rosette and a vintage style 3-ply pickguard. I would have preferred if they used a more traditional slotted headstock design, but the current headstock with rosewood overlay do complement the look nicely, so it’s not much of an issue. Other hardware includes chrome open gear tuners with ivory knobs, compensated bone saddle, Ibanez Advantage bridge pins and it has a rosewood bridge.
The Ibanez AVN4 is currently retailing for just $399.99, a great deal in my opinion considering its specs and cosmetic appointments.